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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

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Saturday, 9am to 1pm.

 

Getting through University with Student Finance 2018/19

The time has come! You’ve packed and prepared all you’re essentials for University and now you’re rearing to go. It’s an exciting time flying the nest and finally having the freedom and responsibility of adult life. But this does also mean you have to manage your finances.

While we can’t promise to put the ‘fun’ into funding, we can do our best to make it as painless as possible. So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about applying for Student Finance without the drama.

 

How and when to apply

If you’re starting university in 2018/19, you probably know this part already. But in case you haven’t, then best get started.

The application doesn’t take long to complete. You will need your National Insurance Number, Passport number and bank account details. Student Finance will ask information about the uni you want to go to, the course you want to study and how much tuition fee you want to apply for.

*Disclaimer Alert* Remember the later you leave it, the longer it will take for your funds to get processed – and the last thing you want to do is live on beans and toast for a whole term.

When will I get paid?

So you’ve applied before the deadline (check) and you’ve provided all the documents they’ve asked for (check)…“Now show me the monnneyyyy” you say. Well not so fast. Before receiving your payments, you’ll still have to register at your university or college. I know, *rolls eyes* – but it’s best to bear this in mind from now, so you can prepare to cover any costs in advance for things like moving up to your new uni, your first term’s rent or Fresher’s week.

Assuming all goes smoothly, your money will be paid in three installments, with the first in September, second in January and third payment in April. Remember, three months is a long time to wait for the next ‘pay day’ so don’t blow it all at once and make that loan last longer. 

What if my student finance is delayed?

Firstly let’s hope it doesn’t! But if you do find yourself staying up all night waiting for something to appear, try not to panic just yet! It can take up to 5 working days for your payment to be cleared. However, if your payment status says ‘blocked’ – this might be due to a number of issues including: Your N.I. number, incorrect bank details or (…the most common one) not signing your declaration form.

In this case, the delay may be more than 5 days, possibly even a few weeks, but thankfully there are other ways you can get funding to keep you in the meantime. These include:

  • Interest-free overdrafts: As a student, you’ll be eligible to open a student account with any bank, and take out an interest free overdraft. Don’t forget to pay this back as soon as your loan comes through so your debts don’t grow.
  • Financial support from your Uni – Most Universities have a department which offers extra financial help for those in crisis. These can come in the form of Scholarships and Bursaries, Fee Wavers or Hardship funds. Check your uni’s website and Student Union for more information as access to these are usually first come first serve.
  • Financial Ombudsman – If worse comes to worse, and you can’t find alternative support but your debt issues are spiralling out of control, call the Financial Ombudsman. They can be a real help acting as a middle man between you and any company giving you financial grief. In some cases they can even negotiate freezing any direct debit/late payment fees until you get your feet back on the ground.

When do I pay it back?

There are so many Student Finance Myths floating around about repayment schedules and amounts. The truth is you will only ever start repaying your loan and any interest back the April after you’ve finished or left your course, given your income is over the repayment threshold of £25,000.  It’s worth also knowing that after 30 years since finishing your course, you won’t have to pay back a dime!

Remember, when it comes to your Student Finance, the money has to go a long way to cover your essentials, so it’s a good idea to work out a budget you can stick to before you get the urge to splurge. Good luck! And let us know how you get on by reaching us @MoneyforLifeUK through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Chat

Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

Launch Chat

Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.